The first double bolt belay is still there (or it was in August). Karls description is excellent, except that the bolts are level with the Z shaped roof and left of it. For some reason in reading his description I expected them to be lower. I still didn't see them until I was about 10 feet away. If you head directly up to the scoop and tree you should run into them, or be very close to them. Oh and take gear and do the last pitch, the layback is really nice and fun after the slabs below.
The first bolts are the 2 belay bolts higher up the large scoop above the ledge system used to traverse over to the route. They are higher than some will want to group solo so beware. Look down and right of the tree halfway up the first pitch.
Has anyone climbed this route recently? We could not find the initial belay bolts and found only two bolts on the first pitch - and only one below the tree, not 5 as shown in the guide (and 9 total on the first pitch). I've seen the pictures of the starting point and read Karl Baba's description. We were all over that area and couldn't find anything. Can anyone confirm that the bolts are still there? If they are, I'm going back right after I get my eyeglass prescription checked.
At the bolts for the top of the third pitch, there are two rusty buttonheads that look like they would tear right out of the rock if the leader fell. Above that, the first bolt is a spinning rusty buttonhead that doesn't inspire a lot of confidence given what the belay bolts are, and the lack of gear above that spinning rusty buttonhead. They should be replaced for the safety of the climb.
Glad I wasn't the only one to have a hard time spotting the first bolts! Can't comment on the grades in any authoritative way as it was our first climbing trip to the US - but to us the 5.7 slab pitch felt more like 5.8, and the final 5.7 lieback crack closer to 5.5! Great fun either way, and highly recommended to anyone whose linmit is around the 5.7/5.8 level. I can see how those operating at higher levels might find this too tame.
We found the rap off the top easily enough. Just walk to to the far side of the dome, as far as you can go before it gets steep again. You'll be on a flat area - look to the right (east) of this and the slings are obvious, round a large block.
I agree with the other posts in that the crux is finding the first bolts (Thanks for the beta Karl, I walked right up under them). If you know where to go, the climbing isn't that hard, but if you don't . . . I'd say if this pitch has you spooked, you may want to consider bailing.
On the fourth pitch, I must have missed the first bolt because I only clipped one bolt about 60' off the belay. The climbing wasn't hard at all and it was super fun, so I guess it was a good intro for me to some slab runouts.
And definitely do the last pitch. Its a great end to this climb. I didn't feel comfortable liebacking the crack, so instead I climbed it like the offwidth on West Crack: right leg in the crack, left leg and both hands out on knobs left of the crack. My rack for this climb is 9 slings (two being double length), maybe a set of nuts, and a .4 camalot (what Supertopo calls a .75. You know, the small grey one) up to a #3 and a #10 hexcentric in place of the #4 cam. The #5 seems too big to haul up a slab route. On the fourth pitch, we ran it out to the top of the left facing corner, which let us do the route in 5 pitches, if you count the 4th class start as a pitch.
Karl's description for finding the first bolt anchors and the start of the climb is accurate. What helped the most is search along the line where grey colored rock meets light colored rock. We too linked the second and third pitches and had just enough rope to set-up an anchor (.5 to 1 inch) at crack. The last 5.7 section at the top is worth doing (takes up to 4 inches)
Once we located the first belay bolts (see Karl's description), we were able to do the route in 3 pitches with a 60m rope with no simulclimbing. Pitch 1 as shown in topo, link the next two and belay under the roof as shown in topo. The last pitch climbs to the top from there.
A fun, easy romp if you are confident on 5.7+ tuolumne friction. A bit difficult to see the bolts at times, but not bad.
I roped up at the base and went straight to the first anchor (my second wasn't as comfy on tuolumne friction, and appreciated the rope for the 3rd/4th class) - it just reached with a 70M, but 'simulclimbing' 2nd/3rd class slab is no big deal.
Don't forget the big cams for the finish! Technically not any harder than the 5.7 slab crux down low, but slick and intimidating looking if you've never done it before. If you don't want to do it, you can traverse over on 5.0 friction to the top of the dike route and rap.
Climbed it with my 14-year-old son on July 2. The location of the first anchor was described earlier by Karl Baba: "Look for the obvious tree. Below the tree is a small roof. Down and right of this roof is an really small Z shaped roof. It's only about 8 inches high. The anchors are just left of this Z shaped roof, following a bit of 4 class but just before a steeper section of rock." Actually the horizontal roof is shaped more like a Spanish tilde (∼) than a Z and the bolts are about 10' left of this roof, at the border between the darker rock above and paler rock below.
The 180' pitch above can be split into two pitches (and a shorter rope used) by belaying at the ledge with a small tree; the anchor can be formed by slinging the roots of the small tree (PLEASE be careful with the poor tree, which had a split trunk and appeared to be dying, and will break off if you lean or pull on it) and the bolt beside the tree. Pitches 5 and 6 as depicted in SuperTopo can be linked and are class 4. The steep crack of the last pitch is stellar and shouldn't be missed.
The descent to the north is easy. Hike to the summit and wander perhaps a hundred feet down class 3-4 slabs to the northeast where the ground is closest and look for slings around a block (we didn't see a station on a tree). After the 40' rappel walk about a hundred feet north to a cairn and then scramble down easy talus.
Fun climb and a quality route [July 2005], but we missed a bunch of protection bolts on two or three of the pitches. We really didn't need them and it made for a more exciting and memorable climb. We're Gunks climbers and not used to spotting bolt hangers in the midst of a sea of boilerplate slab with bumbs all over the place :)
Yes finding the anchors is weird - but I would hesitate to call it 5th class which would indicate a fatal fall. You would have to pass out to fall off those knobs and if you did you would simply slide and or roll down the slope.
I found looking for the anchors part of the adventure. ST does suggest roping up at the ledge below the anchors in order to bring up less experienced climbers on belay...
This is a strange way to start a route, you climb unprotected on 5th class terrain for 20-30 feet trying to find some anchors that are invisible. When I found the anchor I felt like it should have been the second bolt on the climb. After that the real crux is fun and mentally scary slab moves to a first bolt. After that the angle drops and the friction feels much better as you cruise to the top of the dome.
The final headwall crack is fun and will take #4 friend, #4 Camalot & #4.5 Camalot.
ST says 40' rappel off NE side, we found a 100 foot rappel off of a Tree to another 40 foot tree rappel to the ground, putting us on the East Side.
This route needs a marker on the first anchor, it would be much less dangerous if you didn't have to stand on greasy knobs for 10 minutes trying to find the START of the climb.
Mentally not 5.7 more like 5.8, physically 5.6.
Seems like a lot of people have a hard time finding the hangers, as did I. Reference the photo and the ST topo to spot the very beginning of the climb. The bolts are hard to see until you're pretty much right on top of them. Go up steep 4th class, the hangers are there, just as the rock turns green with lichen. I soloed around the 4th class slabs for quite a while before seeing the hangers. By then I was within 15 feet of them.
We rapped this route from the top of Dike Route (2 ropes), by bypassing the last 5.7 lieback section to the top (which might be worth it if you want the long descent option over the back and down the talus field by Aqua Knobby). Traversed the exposed slab to the slings. As it was getting dark we were glad to spot slings at the next rap station. From there, it takes a keen eye in the darkness to find the next station (rings), just above the ledge, shown in ST.
2 double rope raps to the ground. Rapping the route was way faster than the standard descent, though carrying a 2nd rope up this route was a little much.
Freed to within 30 feet of the tree and could not find bolts or anchors. Spent a solid 10 - 15 minutes looking at the top of every seemingly correct spot and downclimbed after no luck. I even tried with binoculars from the ground. Did someone run off with the hangers? Good luck, put on the x-ray vison for these babies if they're there.
While climbing the dike route in the past, I've seen a lot of folks searching for the first anchors. Here's where they are. Look for the obvious tree. Below the tree is a small roof. Down and right of this roof is an really small Z shaped roof. It's only about 8 inches high. The anchors are just left of this Z shaped roof, following a bit of 4 class but just before a steeper section of rock.
If you intend to rap before the rap anchors run out, and nobody is on the dike route, you can rap from the anchors on top of the 5.7 pitch to the first anchors on the dike route with two ropes. Then back to the start
The bolts are there, exactly as marked in the Supertopo. The first anchor bolts are very difficult to spot from the ground. You have to solo up a bit of 4th class to get to them. After that, the bolts go up and right, then back left by, and then above the tree, and are easier to spot. The first few bolts above the first belay have older hangars and are hard to spot until you're almost on top of them. The bolts generally get better as you go up, and all the belays have bomber, newer bolts.
On September 12 I was tried to find two belay bolts where route should start - and did not. I also was not able to spot bolts line of pitch 1 .
It seems to me that route was chopped. Correct me if I am wrong ...
Climbed the first two pitches of this route on 21 August 04.
Folks seem to rappel the route to the tree then to the ground, rather than just rap from the second bolted anchor (top of second pitch) and walk down. No rap gear on first set of anchors (not sure there needs to be, especially as 2 60m ropes reach easy downclimbing/hiking terrain from the second pitch anchor anyhoo).
Did the route on 10/25. Fun route to do, nice face climbing on good knobs. Walked over to the top of Dike Route and rapped down that instread of going to the top and walking off. Only a couple of older bolts on the route down low. Would have been 4 pitches if he hadn't rapped down Dike Route. Started high up on the slab, went past the first two bolt anchor and ran out the whole 60 meters of the rope.
I was on the route in early October 03 and wanted anyone to know that I cleaned up the rapell anchors and put on a new sling. The ones I pulled off were dated 1988. The rap tree is a big tree, but it is not very tall at all, you have to look over the edge to actually see it.
Guess I will be the first to post beta on this one...
Climbed this with Jim on Sat 8/9. 1st pitch is good (knobs and scoops). Next 2 pitches are easy but very little pro. Exit crack is easy and fun 5.7 - a short lie-back protected with large cams 3-4".
Travel light - just take 10 draws, 1 cam each 2 to 4" (BD 2, 3, 3.5 & 4) and a couple of large nuts or red/yellow aliens.
Descend from N/E corner of dome. Easy 40ft rap, but might be worth taking your own rap/tat and biner. Nothing we saw looked very permanent.
This climb is a nice way to end the day (car to car in under 3 hours), but it isn't stellar climbing. A nice route for new arrivals to practice their slab skills though.
Photo: Chris McNamara
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